Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of presidential candidate John Edwards, reported on Thursday that her cancer has returned. For anyone whose life has been touched by cancer, her openness and determination likely brought back memories closer to home.

Bette DuBay, who taught third grade at Hidden Valley School, died in 1991, three years after her cancer was first diagnosed. She was 56 years-old, and she only missed her favorite event, the annual Hidden Valley School Halloween parade, because she was dying.

On Sunday, columnist Ann DuBay remembers how her Mom was determined to live her life, defying the uncertainty and the adversity that confronts cancer victims and the people who love them. This is a column about courage and love and inspiration – and people who help us learn what is really important in life.

-Pete Golis